One of the Belgian cities that I miss the most – even after having lived 18 months in sunny Spain, is Antwerp. It has a completely different vibe though from Brussels where I used to live, which is probably one of the reasons I like it. And some of my best friends live there! Anyway, did you know that Antwerp is home to the oldest zoo of Belgium and one of the oldest in the world? Some facts and numbers:
- Established in 1843.
- More than 7000 animals of more than 900 species.
- More than one million visitors a year.
- One of the venues of the 1920 Summer Olympics.
As you can imagine, in winter when days are sombre, short, wet and cold, it tends to attract fewer visitors. But since a couple of years, ZOO Antwerp organises a special event during about 6 weeks in winter that does bring in more people. And it’s called China Light Zoo (at least the first four editions).
Simply put, all over the zoo, you can see light installations depicting various elements, characters and events of Chinese culture and history. And animals, since we are in a zoo! The artists who set up these installations actually come all the way from China. Anyway, I have been lucky enough to see 2 editions of this event: 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 (the last one before I left Belgium).
I put a lot of pictures of the first edition (that I visited) on my other travel website; if you are interested, have a look here. As you can guess, here I will feature pictures of the other edition (2017-2018). I took dozens of photographs during that cold December evening, but I took my time to find the best ones.
A little bit more pictures than usual, but then I had more than 150 of them to choose from! Anyway, if you are interested in this event, the edition of this year has a different theme and hence another name: Jungle Book Light Festival. For more information, check out this link.